DHS taking action with OnTrack, finding “serious safety risks to children”

Update (01/25 3:10 p.m.) — The Department of Human Services is “taking action” with OnTrack, a Medford based rehabilitation service provider.

An email obtained by NBC5 said DHS investigators found “serious safety risks to children and deplorable living conditions in the treatment and crisis housing programs. The issues were serious enough that the investigators made calls, as mandatory reporters, to the local child abuse/neglect hotline to report the conditions in which the families were living.”

DHS officials have placed an immediate suspension on all new referrals to OnTrack. Twenty families who have children will be moved out of current living conditions and families who remain in OnTrack housing will be visited daily by DHS workers to ensure their safety.

According to the email from DHS, new clients will be referred to a different provider and DHS investigation reports will be forwarded to Child Protective Sergvices and the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations.

DHS said the board of OnTrack is working on a corrective action plan that is scheduled to be submitted by the end of the day on Monday, January 30.

OnTrack is contracted with DHS to provide residential alcohol/drug treatment, outpatient counseling and alcohol/drug treatment, crisis housing and day-care for children of parents receiving treatment.

(Original story published 01/25/17 2:51 p.m.) Medford, Ore. – OnTrack, a Medford based rehab organization that has been the target of recent investigations and reviews, is transferring seven teens out of its “teen facility” after an unscheduled investigation by the Department of Human Services. NBC5 News is working now to confirm if there have been more removals and/or transfers from the organization’s treatment and crisis housing.

NBC5 News received an email addressed to a group of OnTrack employees from Tonia Moro, a current staff member for OnTrack.

Moro wrote the surprise DHS investigation reported “some concerns” with the teen program facility which she attributed to recent extreme weather and deferred maintenance. “Because the repairs would take some time and in order to address some of that deferred maintenance which would also potentially be disruptive to the program, we decided to move the program.”

According to the email, the teens were moved to the “Allen House” on West Main, where DHS was scheduled to do a walk-through.

Rita Sullivan, the head of OnTrack, went on leave in November after allegations surfaced that OnTrack management had inappropriately interacted with some staff. After the letter became public, OnTrack issued a statement saying Sullivan “will take a much deserved leave to refresh, given the strenuous pace at which she has recently been working.”

In the following weeks, an NBC5 News investigation revealed OnTrack was under review by the Oregon Health Authority after a report was issued that said the organizations Dad’s Program had a “substantial failure to comply” with health standards.

An Oregon Tort Claim Notice also surfaced where employees alleged multiple law violations including official misconduct, hostile work environment and retaliation. So far, no lawsuits have been filed.

NBC5 obtained emails between OnTrack staff, Oregon Department of Human Services, and the Jackson County courts, detailing complaints of bed bugs, rats, and other safety hazards. OnTrack sent us a follow-up inspection report from August where the pest control business found “no signs of activity.”

[This article has been changed from a previous version that identified Tonio Moro as a Board Member. She has been off the board since July and is now a paid staff member.]

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